The United States at its present is on all-time high in regards to social injustices, civil rights and how those two ideals intermingle with the government and the police. When the timelines are laid out and the history is written, the injustices witnessed this year are nothing new: from Rodney King to Trayvon Martin to Eric Garner, the injustices seen in 2014 are just more examples of some kind of unspoken law written in stone that allows certain players to wash the blood from their hands and go about their day unscathed. But perhaps, this year’s annual civil rights clusterfuck just so happened to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, and where many voices have rang out, some of the ones that needed to be heard the most remained silent. In a time where civil rights movements need big voices with high influence, those that proclaim to be leaders need to stake their claim and place in the community and be an example. But maybe even those need their own example to refer to.
Rapper Olmeca is one of those examples. Olmeca has long been an advocate for his Latino community, advocating for immigration and day laborer rights by partnering with organizations like Arizona’s Puente Human Rights Movement and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. He partnered with NDLON to release his new video for his song, “Browning of America,” providing an example of how musicians and artists effectively use their gifts and more importantly, their platform to be a voice for their communities. Post-Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” Olmeca is one of just a small few in this generation of artists that choose to be involved and take a stand to fight against the inequality that plagues us even in the new century. We spoke with Olmeca to talk about his music, the “Browning of America,” and his own take on musicians and their voices.